AN IOU IN IOWA

For the longest time, Penn State’s visit to Iowa had all the excitement of a slog through mud. The Nittany Lions managed yards but not points. And the Hawkeyes were simply inoffensive.

But what a finish.

Previously dormant Iowa put up two impressive fourth-quarter touchdowns, taking an improbable 19-15 lead—and enhancing the credentials of new offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz, who just might succeed his father as Iowa coach someday.

And then, in the final 1:42, Trace McSorley engineered a comeback drive for the ages, capped off by a seven-yard TD pass to Juwan Johnson on the game’s last play for a dramatic 21-19 escape.

If the Hawkeyes realize their dream of an unbeaten season and all the glory that goes with that, they’ll point to that moment.

Oh, and by the way, Saquon Barkley contributed 358 yard (211 rushing, 94 receiving, 53 returning), raising this question: Exactly who is Penn State’s best Heisman bet? Just to be clear, Barkley is making all the right moves.

I’m not enough of an authority to rank Penn State wins, but I will tell you this: The Nittany Lions’ ability to shine under the lights at Nile Kinnick Stadium, reminded me of one of Penn State’s finest comebacks, a 35-31 win at Illinois on Nov. 12, 1994. I covered that game, and it was as good as it gets. The rest of this article is available to subscribers only – to become a subscriber click here.